Albany, NY (April 5, 2012)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the signing of an agreement between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that will continue vital economic activity, protect jobs, and maintain security operations at Brooklyn's Red Hook Container Terminal through January 8, 2017.
The agreement, which followed extensive collaboration between the Port Authority and CBP, will enable CBP to secure the terminal and will maintain international trade at the location. The agreement took into account the unique location of the Red Hook terminal and the potential economic and environmental impact if certain aspects of CBP's operations ceased at the site.
The agreement safeguards the 700 jobs that are generated by the Red Hook Container Terminal and protects the over $240 million of public and private investment already made at the terminal and the Brooklyn waterfront.
"This agreement protects hundreds of jobs and preserves a vital commercial port that is critical to Brooklyn's economy," said Governor Cuomo. "Maintaining the Red Hook facility ensures that shipping to New York City continues without disruption. I thank Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye, and Congressman Jerry Nadler for working with our office to achieve this result."
"We applaud the efforts of our Congressional delegation for helping address this issue with U.S. Customs," said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. "We thank U.S. Customs for its commitment to Red Hook and for doing the right thing for the region's port."
"Our collaboration with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is a good example of Federal and State/Local authorities working together to increase security and safety, while reducing transaction costs and expediting trade to the benefit of the local and regional economy," said Robert E. Perez, Director of CBP's New York Field Operations. "We very much appreciate our outstanding working relationship with the Port Authority."
Senator Charles E. Schumer said, "I'm pleased Customs and Border Protection were willing to work with us and decided to keep this inspection site in Red Hook where it belongs. Shipping cargo from Brooklyn to Staten Island and New Jersey could have represented a security threat by sending uninspected, potentially dangerous cargo across New York City's already congested bridges."
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "This is great news for Brooklyn's working waterfront. I am pleased that the Red Hook Container Terminal will remain an important regional economic driver and a top destination for goods from around the world."
Congressman Jerrold Nadler said, "The agreement to maintain a customs facility in Red Hook is terrific news for Brooklyn's only container port and for the 700 workers and many businesses that rely on its operations. I have worked for months, along with Governor Cuomo and Port Authority Director Foye, to resolve this crisis and ensure that shipping would not be disrupted. Needless to say, Red Hook's container port is critical to Brooklyn's economy and to our region's overall shipping capacity. This facility is the only container port on the East Side of the Hudson River, which houses 2/3 of our region's population, and it must be preserved."
Congressman Peter T. King said, "I am very pleased with today's announcement that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the Customs and Border Protection were able to come to an agreement on this important issue. The Red Hook Container Terminal is not only an important economic asset for the region, but it also serves as a critical inspection point for at-risk cargo. As Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, I have consistently worked hard to make certain that New York has the resources it needs to protect itself. Today's announcement ensures that at-risk cargo will not be transported throughout the New York metropolitan area without having undergone a thorough inspection by Customs and Border Protection officers. I commend both the Customs and Border Protection and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for their hard work to resolve this issue, and I look forward to continuing to work with them."
Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez said, "This announcement is tremendous news for Brooklyn and all of New York City. Maintaining the Red Hook Container Terminal will not only help keep our nation safe by examining products entering our country, but also retain an important hub of economic activity and local commerce in Red Hook."
Congressman Michael Grimm said, "Today's announcement brings welcomed news for the Brooklyn community and the City of New York, that will help preserve hundreds of local jobs and prevent an onslaught of trucks from congesting our already crowded streets. I applaud the efforts of Governor Cuomo, the PANYNJ, and the CBP for working in partnership to promote economic growth. For those of us fighting to keep Red Hook Terminal open and operating effectively, this five-year agreement is exactly the kind of solution we need to maintain the stability and security of the Terminal's operation."
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, "The Red Hook Container Terminal is an important economic engine for New York City and the region. This agreement is crucial to keeping 700 jobs in our city, and thousands of trucks off the road. It will also allow for continued growth at the container terminal and for the City to revitalize our working waterfront."
The agreement with U.S. Customs provides the incentive for planned new investments at the terminal and along the Brooklyn waterfront over the next five years. Red Hook currently handles $3.8 billion in total retail value commodities. The terminal's primary imports are produce products and high end beverages; its primary exports are household goods, foodstuffs, and medical equipment.